SCAM ALERT!! SCAM ALERT!!
Ok, now that I’ve got your attention, its time to talk about that dirty little secret you’ve been keeping.
That’s right, your Facebook fix. You’re spending half of your time looking at fails and the other half liking and sharing those viral videos that EVERYONE is talking about.
Or the cancer awareness day advert that appears Every. Single. Day.
I’m sure there is a cancer awareness day, but come on people, you don’t need to share everything that you see just because someone else shared it.
Ok, rant over! Yes its annoying, but the real reason for this blog is to tell you the security side of these things. As General C H Melchett once said: ‘security, isn’t a dirty word’
Facebook is a breeding ground for scams and scammers and victims are a plenty, because we make it so easy for them by clicking absolutely everything we see and sharing it among everyone we know.
Consequently, in September 2018 it was revealed that over 30 million user profiles on Facebook were breached. With key personal data including names, contact information, gender, relationship status and location check ins being compromised and potentially exposed to data thieves.
Data fraud Protection is a big issue at the moment and a big challenge – for Facebook users, companies and organisations, and even government organisations.
What is Facebook fraud?
Data fraud, often linked to identity theft and identity fraud, is defined as ‘All types of crime in which someone wrongfully obtains and uses another person’s personal data in some way that involves fraud or deception, typically for economic gain’.
Consequently, data fraud is often triggered by data breaches – the theft of sensitive, confidential information by unauthorized individuals who usually use that stolen data to commit cyber fraud – just like the one Facebook recently experienced.
While Facebook offers stringent options in its privacy settings page, it’s really down to you to protect your data as a user – online and offline. Make it difficult! User two factor authentication and log out of all active devices.
Scams to watch out for:
‘See who viewed your profile’
This is usually an external link, with no information at all, about who viewed you… it lures you in with the promise of revealing this information once you fill in a survey, or submit some personal data,. If you do this, a fraudster can then use to either sell your info, or use it themselves to commit some sort if identity theft.
FYI … Facebook doesn’t monitor who is looking at your profile, LinkedIn does though…
‘See who’s blocked you’
In a fashion to the one above, this tactic promises to provide a list of people who have blocked you on Facebook. If you ever see this, just keep on scrolling.
In most cases, scammers often use the ‘like’ button as a springboard into a classic bait and click scam.
This is usually a link where you will enter your email or mobile number to enable a ‘dislike’ button. This doesn’t exist! At all! Anywhere! And if it did, it would just appear… just like the ‘like’ button did back in the day.
Similarly as the emoji’s did more recently.
If you get any links, or messages regarding the dislike button, simply delete it as soon as you see it. Or if it is a post, report it.
‘Become a product tester and keep anything you test.’
This isn’t specifically a Facebook scam; however, it is appearing more and more on social media and its definitely one to look out for.
Firstly, you get offered a product to test, usually something extremely desirable like the new iPhone or Apple watch and if you agree to test it you get to keep the product.
In particular it is playing on the fact that we all love new gadgets, and we all love free stuff.
For this reason, this one is dangerous as it will ask for all of your details that you could possibly imagine, and people will throw it all in there just for the possibility of getting that new iPhone.
In addition, they will need your full name, your address to send it to, to your mobile and landlines for verification, your email for news of other items you can test (and keep) as well as bank details for a financial reward for testing their equipment. Therefore making this one of the most dangerous scams to appear on Facebook.
STAY AWAY FROM THIS ONE.
How to protect yourself on Facebook
First of all, use smarter passwords.
Moreover, never use anything that can be related to you (names, places, hobbies, pets, parents/kids names etc) these can be so easily cracked by people who want to get into your accounts.
Pick three random words
Pick three random letters
And mix them up
Apple figaro cartridge 3 2 9
On that note, I have to go change my password …
Secondly, make sure you turn on Two Factor authentication on social media. Then when you get a new phone or device make sure you log out of all devices and start again.
Use a recovery email address you still use – you wouldn’t believe the amount of times we see people recover passwords to email addresses they no longer have access to!
Therefore, please remember the biggest protection against a scam is you! Often if it looks too good to be true, it usually is. Be Cautious